Sunday, July 27, 2014

"Four Hundred & Fifty Prophets of Baal"

Though the sacrifice I offered
seemed to be weak
God sent His fire
for covenant He keeps.
It was a time of great victory
as I stood in faith
And called upon the Lord
firmly in place.
Because God was for me
to establish His name
Dispelling the darkness
spreading His fame.
Steady I moved
boldly I spoke
Eyes were opened
hearts filled with hope.
Four hundred and fifty 
prophets of Baal
Were slain and defeated
yet I thought, 'did I fail?'
Enemies threatened
Spewing their lies
 I journeyed from here
and prayed I might die.
Weary from the battle
I laid down and slept
I felt all alone
discouraged, I wept.
The Lord spoke to me
again, I'd arise
To go in the power
He would provide.
 I gained a little strength
I hid in a cave
But His wind overtook me
I heard the Ancient of Days.
'For there are still those
I would choose to anoint
To give what I've given
through those I appoint.'
There are rivers in the desert
food I did not know
With which the Father fed me
His mercy and grace to show.
Never has He left me
His Spirit lives inside
And so it is I find myself
under His wings to hide.
Angels surrounding, ministering
comforting, lifting my grief
Encouraged again in God's presence
as my eyes gaze on Him from His feet.
Only one thing I desire
and that with all my heart I will seek
To dwell in the house of the Lord all my days
beholding His beauty, complete.
That I may fully know Him
even as I am known
Hidden in His pavilion
singing praises for the goodness He's shown.
So in quietness and confidence
upon the Lord I wait
For it is He who makes me fearless
rearranging, crooked places made straight.
For surely there is One calling
the way of the Lord to prepare
Who comes to uphold His beloved
His right arm to bear.
For He shall receive His inheritance
with righteousness the nations to judge
The same yesterday, today and forever
Who will be, Who is, Who was.
Once again with my life on the alter
burning flames ignite
Stirring in me a passion
beholding a magnificent sight.
It is Him, my King and Savior
with a scepter in His hand
Unto me extended
to go and enforce His commands.
I saw utter annihilation of enemies
but His own I saw arise
Light and joy and gladness
replacing every cry.
For Father found a remnant
falling on their knees
A heavenly army answering
to set the captives free.
We declare we are not among them
the call of God to refuse
Our long-suffering Lord is not willing
even one to lose.
And so, we stand in agreement
boldly approaching His throne
In humility and complete dependence
where grace and mercy are shown.
He is our victorious Warrior
Jesus is our soon coming King
And we bear the seal of redemption
one, His song we sing.
Holy, holy, holy
His glory fills the earth
And that which He has spoken
is surely brought to birth.
Mysteries of Heaven
incense, the fragrance of Christ
Purging me, refining
expressing truth and light.
Though His ways are many and varied
scattering and planting seed
The Word of God He's given
accomplishing what He would please.
Receive all glory and honor
the Name above all names
Through all that You have given
touch this life You gave.
What am I but a broken vessel
whom You cause to hear Your words
Beautifying by Your hand
as at Your wheel I turn.
Father, give me utterance
untie my tongue to speak
Even as You fill my mouth
from wellsprings running deep.
You are the God of all creation
giving wisdom and skill to create
For Your determined purpose
in Christ and for Your sake.
Open eyes that have been sleeping
that we'd be wide awake
Vessels, broken open
treasures to use, not to waste.
We ask for a body united
mature and fully equipped
Joined as one in Jesus
let holy oil drip.
Experiencing Your commanded blessings
formed a perfect man
Every joint to function
in love, fulfilled, Your plan.
I thank You, heavenly Father
You leave us not in one place
To stagnate but reveal Your glory
as from glory to glory You take.
That we all, with unveiled faces
those the Lord transforms
May clearly represent Him
through ways He has adorned.
The food that I desire
is to do the perfect will
Of Him who has called and sent me
in Christ, His work fulfilled.

Scripture Meditation:
(The lengthier books and passages of Scripture listed are for you to look up on your own.  You may use the "Bible Gateway" link to the right to access Scripture)
1 Kings 18:20-40, 19:1-19
Isaiah 43:19 - Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it?  I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
John 4:32-35 - But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.”  Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?”  Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.  Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!
Psalm 27
Isaiah 30:15 - In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.
Luke 3:4-6 - it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight.  Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough ways smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”
Psalm 98
Hebrews 13:8 - Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Book of Esther
2 Peter 3:9 -  The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Ezekiel 22:29-30 - The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger.  So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.
Hebrews 4:16 -  Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Isaiah 6:1-8
Isaiah 55:8-13
Jeremiah 18:1-11
Jeremiah 1:4-10
Exodus 31:6 - And I, indeed I, have appointed with him Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and I have put wisdom in the hearts of all the gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you...
2 Corinthians 4:7 - But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
Ephesians 4:7, 11-16
Psalm 133
2 Corinthians 3:18 - But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Friday, July 18, 2014

"All the Little Things"

What God has joined together, let no one separate.  
Matthew 19:6
All the little things that say, "I LOVE YOU".  Sometimes I guess we can take things for granted and may not even notice all the ways someone may say they love us, even without a word.  This morning I noticed.

On June 30th of this year Jeff and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary.  Wow, hard to believe all this time has passed!  We've been together more than 41 years, meeting in junior high school.  We've made a lot of wonderful memories together and I pray for many more.  Somehow I always knew we'd stay together.  I praise the Lord He has helped us in the good times and the not so good.

Like most couples we've had plenty of opportunities to "throw in the towel" but here we are, still best friends and loving each other in everyday living; in the common, daily activities, the mundane, in the things we say, and sometimes in what we choose not to do or say, and in being patient and forgiving.

As Jeff ventured out early one morning to take MY car in for maintenance and to do the grocery shopping, I was so grateful for these "little things", these selfless acts of love he does regularly.  I thought, 'I'll have to thank him when he gets home', since he was hurrying out the door.  But then I thought, 'Don't wait, we don't know what the next day may bring or even the next moment.  Let him know what a great guy he is and how thankful you are.'

I want my husband to know I do notice and I'm so appreciative for all he does and how hard he works.  But I'm not only grateful for what he does but mostly because of the man he is.  I could list so many ways Jeff says, "I love you", but I don't want to embarrass him too much by giving away all his secrets.

God placed us together for a reason.  We are so very different in many ways but also have a lot in common, and I believe, compliment each other so well.  Not many people get to know and share life with one person for the time we have.  Some may not want to work that hard; and it has been work at times but worth it.  We've found ways even in the most difficult seasons of our life to enjoy simple moments - enjoying a meal, taking a walk, watching a show, and just being together.

I prayed on our anniversary, as we sat down to dinner that night, thanking God for the time He's given us thus far and asking, by His grace, that we'd have many more years together to share, to give, to love as husband and wife and very best friends.

You are the love of my life and such a blessing to me, Jeffrey Mark Lang!  Thank you for the man you are, for putting up with all my kookiness but loving me still and for sharing your life with me.  All my love to you.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

"Hope in God"

My soul was so discouraged
Then I remembered to hope in God
Fear had overcome me
But I found His staff and rod.
Coming to bring me comfort
Replacing grief with praise 
Beauty for my ashes
His song in me was raised.
In so much I believed I was lacking
But there is no good thing withheld
From the one who trusts in Father
In whose tent I dwell.
Memories came creeping
Filling me with regret
I asked God to help me move forward
The things now behind to forget. 
I thought He had forgotten me
And left me all alone
All I had were tears to give
Silent, only groans.
But the Spirit understood me
Answering my deep cries
The utterances God gave me
He did not deny.
He said, ‘Ask, and I will give it
Seek and you shall find
Knock and it will be opened
I will not deny.’
And so, I found myself rejoicing
At the cross as I cast my cares
Grateful I can carry
All these things to God in prayer.

Scripture Meditation:
Psalm 42:5 - Why are you cast down, O my soul?  And why are you disquieted within me?  Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.
Psalm 23:4- Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Isaiah 61:3 - To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
Psalm 84:10-12 - For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.  I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.  For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.  O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in You!
1 Corinthians 1:7 - come short in no gift...
Ephesians 1:3 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ...
Philippians 3:12-14Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Isaiah 49:14-16 - But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me.”   “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb?  Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you.  See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.
Hebrews 13:5 - ...I will never leave you nor forsake you.
Romans 8:26 - Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Matthew 7:7-8 - Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
1 Peter 5:6-7 - Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Philippians 4:6-7Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
(Click on picture for a full-sized view)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

"True Beauty"

I apply my make-up
and style my hair
But as I abide in the Lord
the Holy Spirit prepares
For that which is before me
true beauty to reflect
God's countenance upon me
only Him to project.
A woman of God
the Father to fear
Radiant, glowing
so unto Him I draw near.
For all else is empty
and will soon pass away
May I please You, my Lord
let my life be Your praise.
Fill me with Your wisdom
help me walk in the truth
And Your love so freely given
to bear in Christ Your fruit.
Come, arrange my thinking
transform my heart
Clothe me in royal garments
heal every broken part.  
To pass down to the generations
the eternal that never dies
Your permeated goodness
from this broken one to rise.

(Click on picture for a full-sized view)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

"Mornings With The Lord"

This is a scrapbook page I created to depict my mornings alone with the Lord.  I can't wait to hide away with Him, with a delicious cup of coffee as I turn on the music (usually joining online with the, "International House of Prayer" -,
for worship, the Word of God, prayer and writing.

At times as I'm in the Scriptures I'm inspired to begin to create a scrapbook page around that Word.  I guess I'm kind of a "show and tell" kind of gal.  For me, this allows the Word to lodge deep in my heart as I go about creating.  Rarely is a page completed that same morning but I enjoy the process as I continue to listen to the Holy Spirit through these artistic designs.

I love all the ways the Lord chooses to speak to me, drawing me nearer to Him, delighting my soul and invigorating my spirit to bring about His purpose in and through my life for His glory.

Think about creating something today.  Offer it up to the Lord.  Have fun and let the Lord use whatever He desires through the gifts He's given to speak to you and perhaps to others as well.

(Click on picture for a full-sized view)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

"Welcome, Rosie and Russell!"

God’s love is meteoric, His loyalty astronomic,
His purpose titanic, His verdicts oceanic.  Yet
in His largeness nothing gets lost; not a man,
not a mouse, slips through the cracks.
Psalm 36:6 (The Message)

Just over three weeks ago as I looked out my bedroom window, what did I see but two little red tabby kittens, who appeared to be about six weeks old, frolicking in my neighbor's backyard.  There, overseeing their antics was their red feral momma, whom I've named Merci, who I've been feeding day and night for the past year and a half along with other occasional visitors.

I'd been attempting to trap Merci off and on all this time
in the hopes of having her vaccinated and spayed to stop the vicious cycle of litter after litter being produced and the great stress this has placed on her, but to no avail.  Even when I'd withhold food from her a bit and no matter how hungry she might be, she'd never take the bait and enter the trap.

I'm aware of a few litters Merci has had but found out through another neighbor, who also does rescue, that Merci has been outdoors longer than I was aware and that she has never been able to trap her either.  However, she was able to Trap/Neuter/Release a litter of three that Merci delivered in the spring of 2012.  So I know Merci's been out there and producing since at least then and perhaps before.  I rescued one of her babies in the spring of 2013, Gracie Anna, when she was 5-6 months old and have since given her a happy home inside.  There were also four kittens delivered in the summer of 2013 who have found homes in the neighborhood. 

Now, time to rescue kittens again.  So, out went the trap in my neighbor's yard where they were living, and my vigil began to catch them.  No way was I going to let them live in the harsh outdoor conditions and face the many potential dangers of growing up a wild cat like their mom and producing untold litters.  If rescued now they were still young enough to properly socialize and to help mold into happy, well-behaved domesticated house cats.

Day two and I still had nothing.  Then late in the afternoon I heard the familiar sound of a cat trap door slamming shut.  I couldn't believe what I saw next - Merci in the trap!  Never did I expect that she'd go in since I'd failed at every attempt up to this point, and besides that, she had all the food in the world just a few steps from where she was, over on my patio.  In fact, I'd been placing more food out and refilling more frequently over the past couple of months since she was quickly gobbling everything up.  That's when I knew she must be pregnant again or have babies.  I had figured it was hopeless to believe I'd ever trap her but there she was.  Now I had a dilemma - let her go and know I'd never trap her again, or take her and get her spayed, leaving the kittens without their mom.

Well, since I knew this was most likely my only and last chance to capture Merci and I was confident the kittens were old enough to eat on their own, I decided this was the time to get Merci spayed and I'd place food and water out for the kittens until I could trap them.  One thing at a time.

With the help of my feral rescue contact, who went above and beyond, arrangements were made to get Merci to a feral rescue group and then taken to the vets the next day for spaying, deworming and vaccinations.  According to the veterinarian, she seems to be in fine shape and very healthy.  After recuperating from surgery on a neighbor's screened-in porch, Merci was re-released into my community where I'll continue to care for her each day.  Though she's a feral cat and I'll never be able to get close or touch her, my heart goes out to her and I love her.  She's a beautiful girl!

I was able to rescue Merci's kittens during her brief absence and begin their socialization, setting them on the track of, "much loved, spoiled, rotten cats"!  What a joy to have little ones running around and to know that God saw them and their need and chose us to help.  It amazes me how much the Lord cares for all of His creatures, great and small, and didn't let this feline family "slip through the cracks".  It causes me to realize how much more He loves you and me!  Thank You, Lord, for Your provision and for the kindness, compassion and generosity of those who helped in this endeavor.  May they be richly blessed.  Thank You, Father, that nothing goes unnoticed or is lost with You.